This is likely to be an interesting year, with the forthcoming General Election, the Institute of Fiscal Studies predicting ‘colossal’ cuts in public sector spending and the continuing shroud of austerity covering Eurozone economies.
So despite what felt like a partially gloomy end to 2014, I believe that there is a lot to be excited about in Sheffield and the City Region over the next few years.
Much of the work to shape these developments will be taking place over the coming months and will include taking forward the development of Sheffield’s outdoor economy in a way which helps us to exploit the economic benefit – real jobs and business growth - of our fantastic natural assets. I will report back on such developments in future editions of Business Monthly, but wanted to kick things off with an introduction to the practical support Creative Sheffield offers for businesses looking to grow.
During the summer we brought together all of our support for companies into one place, under one brand - Business Sheffield. This includes our Business Gateway, a single access point to support for Sheffield businesses of all sizes and sectors, support for people starting a business and our team of commercially and professionally experienced business advisors to work with companies looking to invest and grow.
The latter team is now in place and includes a number of senior figures from Sheffield and beyond with experience in a wide range of business sectors including manufacturing and retail, practical experience of working with small businesses, new starts and blue chip operations and extensive experience of the corporate banking sector.
The team also brings with it relationships with the likes of the universities and the national Business Growth Service, which can all be deployed to help secure growth for city firms. Access to our advisors is free, they are impartial and independent and working with them comes with no obligation.
Finally, one of the focal points of our work in 2015 and beyond will be the first steps towards establishing the Don Valley area of Sheffield and Rotherham as Europe’s leading advanced manufacturing and innovation cluster. We already have world-leading research and industrial collaborations in the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
Working with our colleagues in Rotherham, the University of Sheffield and private landowners, we will deliver the wider infrastructure the area needs.
We will be launching this project with world renowned economist Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institute who will lead an Economic Commission in Sheffield in January to consider the economic challenges the city faces and explore with fellow commissioners and Sheffield stakeholders the potential ways to kick-start change.
For further information on any of the above, call 0800 043 55 22 or visit www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/business